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The News Outlet

Partners in Engaging Journalism

Pure numbers don’t tell the whole story of the Oak Hill neighborhood in Youngstown. The numbers say the area is near death. The residents and officials at the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. say the odds change when you factor in human determination.

Officials with the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. attempted to get a youth perspective on the city’s problems by meeting with students at Youngstown State University. While most city residents are concerned by population loss, YSU students are worried about decreased enrollment.

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Rebecca Vazquez-Skillings is the newest member of the Ohio Board of Education. She brings with her a long history in education affairs. She also favors schools partnering with businesses, community officials and parents.

Student reporters with The News Outlet contacted nearly 300 charter schools in Ohio in an effort to obtain basic public information. Only one in four schools complied with the requests.

The IRS has a list of 74 questions to determine if a charter school qualifies for non-profit, tax-exempt status. As part of a look at school choice by the Akron Beacon Journal and The News Outlet, 26 of the questions were analyzed in regards to White Hat Management practices showing some possible problems.

The charter-school movement in the U.S. began in earnest in the early 1990s. However, there have been several “community” schools cropping up in Ohio. The News Outlet offers a vocabulary lesson on these schools.

Curtis Schaffer, a member of First Christ church in Salem, has two passions: church and NERF guns. He combined both into a project called, “NERFing for Jesus.” Every month since December, about 30 youths gather at a different church in the Salem area to wage a NERF war. The goal is to bring the church and the community together. The group hopes to welcome more churches into the project.

Jurors began deliberating Thursday afternoon in the case of an Ashland couple accused of imprisoning and abusing a cognitively-impaired woman.

Jessica L. Hunt, one of two people accused of imprisoning and abusing a mentally challenged woman, today testified that she was trying to help the 30 year old.

Minutes after prosecutors rested their case today, friends of the couple accused of imprisoning and abusing a cognitively-impaired woman testified that they never witnessed any mistreatment.

Ashland police officers testified Monday about their investigation into the alleged force labor and imprisonment of a cognitively-impaired woman and her five-year-old daughter by Jessica L. Hunt, 31, and Jordie L. Callahan, 26.

A codefendant in the labor trafficking trial of Jessica L. Hunt, 31, and Jordie L. Callahan, 26, testified Friday that he used his previous romantic relationship with the cognitively impaired alleged victim to lure her back to her alleged abusers after she had escaped the squalid basement where she was imprisoned along with her 5-year-old daughter.